Ch 15: Basic Concepts of Mechanics

About This Chapter

Use these short text and video lessons to learn fundamental principles of mechanics, such as the formula for acceleration or how to calculate mass. Track your progress through the chapter with the help from our multiple-choice quizzes.

Basic Concepts of Mechanics- Chapter Summary

These lessons in this chapter will teach you the basic concepts of mechanics, including motion, gravity and friction. In this chapter you will go over the following concepts:

  • Laws of motion
  • How to calculate speed and velocity
  • Differences between speed, velocity and acceleration
  • Illustrations of distance and displacement
  • Equation of gravitational force
  • Example of straight line motion and constant acceleration
  • Conversions between mass and weight
  • Ways friction is found
  • Relationship between work and energy
  • How to calculate power
  • Concepts of projectile motion and period motion
  • Experiments on conservation of momentum
  • Objects on the inclined plan and their net force
  • Use of simple machines
  • Properties of fluids

In these online lessons, our professional instructors break down difficult concepts into easy-to-understand pieces that are easy to learn and easy to retain. If you ever find yourself struggling with a concept, the instructors will answer any questions you may have about the material in the lessons.

16 Lessons in Chapter 15: Basic Concepts of Mechanics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Motion? - Definition & Laws

1. What is Motion? - Definition & Laws

Motion is the act of moving and plays a huge role in the study of physics. This lesson walks through important terms and the laws of motion that guide the study of motion.

Speed and Velocity: Concepts and Formulas

2. Speed and Velocity: Concepts and Formulas

Did you know that an object's speed and velocity may not be the same? This lesson describes the concepts of speed and velocity relating to objects in motion. We'll look at a specific example to help learn how to calculate both speed and velocity.

What is Acceleration? - Definition and Formula

3. What is Acceleration? - Definition and Formula

This lesson describes the difference between speed, velocity and acceleration. Examples are used to help you understand the concept of acceleration and learn to calculate acceleration with a mathematical formula.

Distance and Displacement in Physics: Definition and Examples

4. Distance and Displacement in Physics: Definition and Examples

Distance and displacement might seem like similar terms but in physics, understanding the difference can mean getting a question right instead of wrong. In this lesson, we will define these terms and illustrate how easy it is to confuse the two.

What Is Gravity? - Definition & Equation

5. What Is Gravity? - Definition & Equation

In this video, you'll learn about the force of gravity and why what goes up must also come down. You'll also learn about the equation for determining the gravitational force between two objects and the rate at which objects accelerate toward Earth.

The Acceleration of Gravity: Definition & Formula

6. The Acceleration of Gravity: Definition & Formula

In this lesson, we will introduce the acceleration due to gravity. Objects in free fall are one of the few real world examples of straight line motion with constant acceleration, so they are commonly used when learning kinematics.

Mass and Weight: Differences and Calculations

7. Mass and Weight: Differences and Calculations

We often talk about mass and weight as if they are the same. While they are proportional to each other, they are not, in fact, the same. In this video lesson, you will learn to distinguish between the two, as well as convert one to the other.

Friction: Definition and Types

8. Friction: Definition and Types

You experience friction all the time, and you should be glad you do! Friction helps keep stationary objects in place as well as slow moving objects down as they slide across a surface. This lesson identifies what friction is and explains the two ways we find this force on earth.

Work-Energy Theorem: Definition and Application

9. Work-Energy Theorem: Definition and Application

Work and energy are closely related in physics. In this lesson, you'll learn what that relationship is as well as how we can apply it to various situations.

Power: Definition and Mathematics

10. Power: Definition and Mathematics

Work involves moving an object with a force, but power tells us how quickly that work is done. In this lesson, you will learn about how power depends on both work and time as well as see examples of how to calculate power.

Projectile Motion: Definition and Examples

11. Projectile Motion: Definition and Examples

A projectile is any object that is given an initial velocity and then follows a path determined entirely by gravity. In this lesson, we will introduce projectile motion and touch on a few key facts to keep in mind when working through these problems.

Periodic Motion: Definition & Examples

12. Periodic Motion: Definition & Examples

After completing this lesson, you should be able to define and provide examples of periodic motion, as well as describe what makes a periodic motion a simple harmonic motion.

Conservation of Momentum: Physics Lab

13. Conservation of Momentum: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what conservation of momentum is and conduct an experiment to demonstrate conservation of momentum. You can also take the short quiz to test your knowledge.

Inclined Planes in Physics: Definition, Facts, and Examples

14. Inclined Planes in Physics: Definition, Facts, and Examples

If an object is not horizontal to the ground, it may be on an inclined plane. We need to adjust both the calculations and the free-body diagram when determining the net force on an object on an inclined plane. Learn how in this lesson.

What Are Simple Machines? - Definition, Types & Examples

15. What Are Simple Machines? - Definition, Types & Examples

If you need to move or lift a heavy object, it would be wise to use a simple machine. Though these devices are far from fancy or high-tech, they are extremely helpful for getting work done.

Fluids in Physics: Definition and Characteristics

16. Fluids in Physics: Definition and Characteristics

Fluids really know how to move! As flowing materials, fluids have some unique properties that help us understand and describe them. In this lesson you'll explore what fluids are and how they are defined in the world of physics.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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